erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Sunday June 18, 2017

Box Office: 'Wonder Woman' Has Legs

Wonder Woman box office has legs

See if you can spot the pattern.

  • In its first weekend, “Wonder Woman” grossed $103 million, which is the 40th-best opening weekend of all time.
  • In its second weekend, “Wonder Woman” grossed $58.5 million, which is the 24th-best second weekend of all time. 
  • This weekend, its third, “Wonder Woman” has grossed $40 million, which is the 11th-best third weekend of all time. 

It's called word-of-mouth. It's called legs. “Wonder Woman” has them. 

It also means the “DC Extended Universe” finally has a winner. 

True, “Man of Steel” was the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2013, with $290 million, which some might consider a winner; but it left a slightly sour taste in mouths with Superman killing folks and all, so ... no. And true, “Batman v. Superman” and “Suicide Squad” finished eighth and ninth respectively for 2016, but those films left a positively shitty taste in mouths because they were just beyond dumb. They opened big and died quickly. Everyone said, “Nah.”

For comparison's sake: 

Movie Opening 2nd 3rd Total RT%
Man of Steel $116 $41 $20 $291 55%
Batman v. Superman $166 $51 $23 $330 27%
Suicide Squad $133 $42 $21 $325 25%
Wonder Woman $103 $58 $40 $274* 92%

*and counting

Of the four, “Wonder Woman” had the weakest opener, the best second weekend, and the best third weekend by almost 2-to-1. It also had good reviews and positive word-of-mouth. That's how you do it. Sad that it's taken DC this long to realize it. Hell, maybe they still haven't. Wouldn't be surprised.

Where will “Wonder Woman” stop? Certainly atop “BvS” for the best of this extended universe. But with the way it's holding, I'm wondering if it can top $400 mil. The superhero movies that have done that? Three Avengers (“Avengers,” “Ultron” and “Civil War”), two Batmans (“Dark Knight” and “Rises”), an Iron Man (“3”) and a “Spider-Man” (1, back in 2002). That's it. Rarefied company. 

“WW”'s $40 mil actually finished second for the weekend. The top spot went to “Cars 3” at $53 mil, a box-office total that's actually a comedown for both the “Cars” franchise (1 and 2 opened in the 60s, unadjusted), and for Pixar, which hasn't opened a widely distributed sequel this poorly since ... ever. 

The Tupac biopic, “All Eyez On Me,” finished third with $27 mil. That's the second-best opening for a music biopic, after “Straight Outta Compton,” which opened to $60 mil back in August 2015.

“Rough Night,” the ladies' version of “The Hangover,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon, had a rough time, grossing $8 mil in more than 3,000 theaters.

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Posted at 05:06 PM on Jun 18, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday May 07, 2017

Box Office: Which Hollywood Movies Gross More in China?

Fate of the Furious: Chinese poster

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” opened to $145 mil in the U.S. this weekend, which is about $50 mil more than the original grossed opening weekend August 2014, but it's not exactly earth-shattering. It's the 17th-best opener ever, and the second-best this year, (after “Beauty and the Beast,” which opened at $174 back in March). But at this point, for this type of film, if it doesn't break $150, or $160, it's hardly news. It's Mike Trout batting .300 and hitting 30 HRs. It's what it's supposed to do. 

“The Fate of the Furious” finished second. A distant second: $8 mil in its fourth weekend. The film cost $250 to produce and has earned back only $207 in the U.S., which would seem to be a failure. Except, of course, it's grossed nearly $1 billion abroad. In China alone, its receipts ($374 million) nearly double what it's grabbed in the U.S.

This is an increasingly common phenomenon: the Hollywood blockbuster making more in China than in the U.S. Here's a chart of Hollywood movies that have done that since 2014:

Movie Year China U.S. %
Furious 7 2015 $390,910,000 $353,007,020 1.11
The Fate of the Furious 2017 $373,921,406 $207,136,495 1.81
Transformers: Age of Extinction 2014 $320,000,000 $245,439,076 1.30
Warcraft 2016 $213,541,452 $47,365,290 4.51
The Great Wall* 2016 $170,962,106 $45,157,105 3.79
Kong: Skull Island 2017 $168,384,464 $165,792,080 1.02
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage 2017 $164,066,583 $44,898,413 3.65
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter 2017 $159,548,686 $26,830,068 5.95
Kung Fu Panda 3 2016 $154,304,371 $143,528,619 1.08
Terminator: Genisys 2015 $113,175,898 $89,760,956 1.26

* Joint Hollywood/China production

Overall, it seems like a film festival in hell. It's sequel-laden with a focus on mechanized power: the musclecars of the “Furious” movies; Transformers and Terminators.

It's particularly interesting noting the movies that die here and are reborn there: “Warcraft,” which is a video game thing; “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” (they love Vin more than we do), and the most recent “Resident Evil,” which, in China, grossed nearly twice as much as “Beauty and the Beast” ($85 mil).

So are these sequels new to them and old-hat to us? Do they flock to the familiar more than we do? I have no answers, just questions. 

China also has its huge homegrown blockbusters as well: the “Journey to the West” cycle, randy comedies like “Breakup Buddies,” and particularly “The Mermaid,” its first half a billion domestic grosser from last year. So far, none of these travel the way Hollywood movies travel. Will be interesting to see if they ever do. Would be interesting to see how the world changes. 

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Posted at 10:13 AM on May 07, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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Saturday May 06, 2017

Box Office: Derbez > Hanks, Watson

How to be a Latin Lover

Hanks, schmanks. 

I was busy last week taking my wife to the Mayo Clinic, then playing catch-up at work, then trying to stay abreast of the week's nauseating Comey/AHCA debaccles, but I would be a bit remiss if I didn't mention the oddity that occurred in last weekend's U.S. box office

It was the second-weakest weekend of the year ($99 mil overall), but that's hardly newsworthy.  

“The Fate of the Furious” led the box office for the third weekend in a row, but, again, nothing to alert the news media. Or the bloggers. 

No, it was really the new releases, which finished in second, third and fifth place, that stand out. 

In second place, grossing $12 mil, was “How to Be a Latin Lover,” a broad comedy starring Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek. Initially I thought it a Mexican production, or a co-U.S./Mexico production, but it's from Lionsgate's new Hispanic entertainment division, Pantelion, which came about, in part, because of Derbez's previous film, “Instructions Not Included,” which, in 2013, became the fourth-highest-grossing foreign film of all time in the U.S. ($44 mil)—after “Crouching Tiger,” “Life is Beautiful” and “Hero” with Jet Li.

In third place, grossing $10 mil, was “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.” From India. It became the third-highest-grossing foreign opener ever—after two Jet Li movies. 

And in fifth place? “The Circle,” starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. It grossed $9 mil. 

That's right: A movie with one of Hollywood's biggest and most beloved stars, along with Hermione herself, who headlines the biggest box-office hit of the year, “Beauty and the Beast,” was surpassed by flicks from Mexico and India. And in Donald Trump's U.S. 

It feels like a new thing, like a chance we might have. It reminds me of the ending to James Baldwin's 1955 essay, “Stranger in a Village”: “This world is white no longer, and it will never be white again.”

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Posted at 08:49 AM on May 06, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday April 16, 2017

'Fate of the Furious' Slows Down at U.S. Box Office But Sets Record Overseas

Furious 8

Ni kanguo ma?

The fascinating fact about the “Fast & Furious” franchise is how much it represents a kind of doofus All-Americanism (muscle cars + muscle men), and yet how much more popular it is abroad than in America. 

2015's entry, “Furious 7,” which was a rip-roaring pile of shit, is the 38th-biggest movie of all time domestically ($353 million), behind, among others, two “Hunger Games,” two “Spider-Man”s, two “Jurassic”s, and five “Star Wars.” Also “Secret Life of Pets” and “Despicable Me 2.” But worldwide (international + U.S.), it's the 6th highest-grossing film of all-time, at $1.5 billion. 

Indeed, if you look at the top 10 movies worldwide, none has a smaller percentage of its gross in the U.S. (23.3%) than “Furious 7.” To find a smaller percentage, you have to go down to No. 16, “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” at 22.2%. That one isn't exactly Einstein, either, which indicates either there are more doofuses abroad (hard to believe after Trump), or the U.S. is the early driver of the franchise, and by the time the rest of the world picks up on it (during its sickly fourth or seventh incarnation), we've kinda moved on.

The eighth installment, “The Fate of the Furious,” looks to exacerbate this trend.

Domestically, it's off from “7,” which opened to $147 million on Easter weekend 2015. “Fate” grossed $100 mil.

But in other countries it's killed, setting both international ($432) and worldwide ($532) opening-weekend box-office records. Think of that. It had to do so well abroad that it made up for the relatively lackluster U.S. performance to top the worldwide charts. How did it do that? By swamping the international record (“Jurassic World”) by $116 million. That allowed it to edge “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” by $3 mil to set the worldwide mark.

What this really means is the rest of the world loves our junk waaaay more than we do. Sad thought for Americans, stuck with Trump, who hoped to find wisdom abroad. 

Elsewhere, “Beauty and the Beast” grossed another $13 mil to take over 12th place all-time domestically at $454 million. Vin's cars may go vroom vroom, but they won't be fast enough to catch Belle. Not in the U.S. anyway.

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Posted at 11:33 AM on Apr 16, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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Tuesday March 28, 2017

Box Office: 'Beauty and the Beast' Keeps Humming Along

Beauty and the Beast

Last weekend, Disney's live-action “Beauty and the Beast” turned in the 6th-best opening weekend ever (domestically, unadjusted), behind only three “Avengers” movies, “Jurassic World” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”  

This weekend, it turned in the 4th-best second weekend ever ($90 mil), behind only the first “Avengers” movie, “Jurassic” and “Force.”

“Ultron” and “Civil War”? Eat her dust.  

“BnB” is now at $316 million, which is (again) 4th-best ever after 10 days of release, and the highest domestic total this year by far. (“Logan” is second at $201.) Add another $373 abroad for $690 worldwide, which is (again) the best so far this year, with (again) “Logan” second at $565.

Where might it stop? $400 million domestic is a no-brainer. $500? Wouldn't be surprised. More? Encore? 

Oh, there'll be encores. I just hope Hollywood is learning the right lessons: that female-centered storylines, not to mention musicals, can sell. But they're probably learning the wrong lesson and gearing up to just give us more live-action remakes of cartoons. Like Inspector Gadget, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Scooby Doo. Wait, sorry, those have all been made. And bombed. 

Elsewhere, “Power Rangers” grossed $40 mil against a production budget of $100 mil. It looks like it contains elements of “Chronicle,” a Zac Efron look-alike as lead, and Earl from “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.” Also an RT rating of 46%.

“Life” was lifeless (sorry), coming in fourth with $13 mil. “Kong” took in another $14 for third while “Logan” added another $10 for fifth. A comedic remake of “CHiPs,” which I barely heard about, directed and starring Dax Shepard, whom I've barely heard about, grossed just $7.6 in almost 2,500 theaters—apparently deservedly (RT: 20%), while “Wilson,” starring Woody Harrelson as the obnoxious loser we're supposed to love, which I keep hearing about even though I don't wanna, made $330,000 in 310 theaters. Also deservedly (RT: 39%.)

The numbers

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Posted at 04:13 AM on Mar 28, 2017 in category Movies - Box Office
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